Friday, 8 March 2013

Koh Lipe…Paradise.

We have just spent the last week on the small Thai island of Koh Lipe. It is in the southernmost region of Thailand, so south in fact that it’s quicker to get there from the Malaysian island of Langkawi than from anywhere in Thailand itself. So this is what we did. We spent about 24 hours in Malaysia and it reminded us of why we love Malaysia. The people are so kind and honest and the food is an amazing mix of the different cultures that make up Malaysia. Langkawi seemed like a lovely island and if we hadn’t prebooked accommodation in Koh Lipe we would have stayed longer there.

Sanom beach

When we arrived on Koh Lipe it was everything that we had dreamed about, crystal clear waters, some of the whitest powerdery sand that either of us have ever seen and not too much development on the beach front. We were staying in a place called Sanom Beach. It consists of about 8 huts and has it’s own beach. We were lucky enough to have a hut that faced directly on the beach. Our view from our hammock was just breath-taking.  

The view from our hut
We had decided on Koh Lipe as our first destination because after a very stressful couple of months we knew we needed a place to do absolutely nothing for a week, and that’s exactly what we did in Lipe.

Our days mainly consisted of sleeping, eating, swimming, sunbathing and the odd snorkel. After the first day we just felt a huge relief in our shoulders and our minds were at ease. We were also very anti-social while here, just keeping to ourselves and reconnecting, it was great!
Something that I have to mention when I talk about Koh Lipe is the dogs. There are dogs everywhere on the island. In fact when you are walking the main beach at 5p.m. you really have to be careful where you step so that you don’t trip up on one of them. The best thing is that most of the dogs seem really well cared for and genuinely happy. They rule the island. We never saw a shop or restaurant owner shoo any dogs away when they were around, so you could be having dinner with 4 dogs lying around you. They were also extremely well behaved, we didn’t see one aggressive dog while there and they never seemed to beg for food.
We used to pass a mom and her four pups everyday and could never resist a cuddle! In fact, I think we probably have more photos of dogs than anything else!

One of the amazing puppies!
One of the many dogs on Lipe

Our favorite little guy, we named him Buddy cause he reminded us of Will Ferrell.
He was the dog at our resort
During our time on Koh Lipe, we realised that the island is actually quite small so we managed to get to see most of the beaches that it has to offer.

Sanom beach:

This is where our hut was so we spent quite a bit of time on this beach. It is a very small beach about a 5/10 minute walk from the main beach (Pattaya), using a little walkway over the rocks. Because there is only one resort there the beach is quiet, usually we were the only ones on the beach before 9/10 and after 4/5. It was really nice to wake up in the morning and have an empty beach right in front of you.

The walkway from Pattaya beach to Sanom beach
The sand on Sanom was great, very white and soft. The waves weren't big and the resort offers snorkels for rent. The snorkelling was quite good as there is a big rock with coral on it a little bit out from the beach.

The resort also has a small little beach shack serving food and drink.

Lazing on our balcony.
Enjoying the water on Sanom beach
Sanom beach
Sanom Beach at sunset

Pattaya beach:

Pattaya beach is the most popular and  busiest beach on Koh Lipe. This is where most of the expensive resorts are and is the first beach that you see when you arrive onto the island. It is a gorgeous beach (hence the popularity) It has beautiful crystal clear water and white powdery sand but honestly I'm glad that we didn't stay there.

Jason on Pattaya beach.
There are lots of longtail boats on this beach so sometimes it can be quite hard to find a good place to swim. Also while we were there there was a big ship parked on the beach where the garbage from the island was being collected. It was there for about 3 or 4 days and as you can imagine, it smelled pretty bad! We used to have to hold our breath when walking past it. But, to be fair, at least they are doing something about the rubbish and not just dumping it on the island. 

The quintessential "Thailand" photo.
Anyway Pattaya is where you'll find restaurants where you can eat fresh fish on the beach and it is also where you'll find the entrance to the walking street.

The sunset on Pattaya beach.
Pattaya beach

Walking street:

Many touristy island and beach areas seem to have a walknig street on them these days and Koh Lipe is one of them. The walking street on Koh Lipe is where you'll find tons of restaurants, bars, shops, massage and beauty shops and cheaper accommodation. This is where we used to eat as there were some great pancake and juice shops and some really decently priced restaurants selling amazing Thai dishes. There was also a tiny bar on the street that offered buy 1 get 2 free cocktails which was pretty amazing for us! 
Walking street is also how you can get from Pattaya and Sanom to the other beaches on the island.

Yummy green curry from one of the
many restaurants on Walking street.

Sunset beach:

We took a back alley to Sunset beach one day (after getting lost the day before) On this back laneway we got to walk past some local houses, lots of chickens and the entry way to another beach that has a club on it and allows people to camp.

Sunset beach is named so because it is the best place on the island to watch the sunset. We really liked the look of Sunset beach when we visited it. It's very laid back and many backpackers seem to stay here. The sunset was beautiful also. The sand is more yellow than Pattaya and a little more stoney but it's still a nice beach. If you are walking there from Pattaya on Walking street it takes about 15 minutes.

Sunset beach.
The beautiful sunset on Sunset beach.

Sunrise Beach:

While exploring the island we found the local school and had a look around. It was interesting to see the huge differences between this small island school and our schools back in Korea! 
The local school is actually situated on Sunrise beach and their playground and basketball court actually has an impressive view of the beach.

The school playground...what a beautiful view they have!
Jason on Sunrise beach
...and again.
Sunrise beach was also less crowded than Pattaya and has lovely white sand also. Like Sunrise beach, Sunset beach is named so because this is the side of the island that the sun rises on in the mornings. We never actually made it to sunrise beach in the morning so I can't really comment on if it's good or bad.

Mountain Resort beach:

Mountain resort is a resort just off of Sunrise beach and has it's own little area. The best thing about this area is that it has a sand spit right in front of the resort. The resort itself looks beautiful from what we saw of it (if only...)

The beach by Mountain Resort.

We had so much fun in Koh Lipe and would definitely recommend it, but there were a couple of things about it. Firstly, it was expensive. We managed to spend much more here than we had wanted to and we only really bought food and some sun creams.
Secondly, it isn’t really a backpacker destination. There were package tourists everywhere. Most of which were European (which meant I was the whitest person on the beach) :( It was quite funny though because Jason is American he was shocked to see topless sunbathers on the beaches. Seeing his face every time he saw one was priceless; the embarrassment that he was going through was quite cute/funny.  But other than the price of things this is a wonderful island!

Basic information:
Where we stayed: Sanom Beach
Huts off the beach: $20
Huts on the beach: $30

Ferry from Langkawi to Lipe: $40
Dinner: usually around 120 baht each.  
Sanom beach website:

More yummy Thai food.

A longtail boat on Pattaya beach

Pattaya beach

The view of Pattaya from the walkway.
Footprints on Sunset beach.

The walkway between Sanom and Pattaya.
Sunset on Pattaya.
Me walking along Pattaya beach.
Pattaya beach again!

Jason on Pattaya.
Sanom beach
Myself and Jason on Sanom beach
Beautiful Sanom at sunset.
Jason on Sanom beach


  1. Love it Gra xx Well done hun, Keep it up , Love reading these (even in my meeting)!! I cant wait to visit Malaysia, Hunnymoon perhaps :)! xxx
    Hilarious about the dogs by the way, had to happen to you guys xx

  2. Sounds AMAZEBALLS!! Beats the rain here hands down! (this is Máire btw-Gav must have done something with my google acc!!)

  3. Aw thanks guys!
    It really was gorgeous! We just had the longest stressful day today crossing the Thai/Cambodian border...but I'll update ye on that next time :)

    (Thanks for reading :) )

  4. thanks for the information. i was there in 2002 and there was no internet yet. it sounds pretty expensive now. the price of huts seems outrageous- $30? wow. might have to go to koh muk (mook) instead.

  5. No problem. Yeah that seems to be the way Thailand goes, gets more and more expensive each year!
    Although the huts were on their own private beach so I'm sure there are others on the main beaches for less.

  6. Great photos, I really want to stay at your resort, but prices have gone up now (starting at 2,000 Baht per night at the start of December 2015). I think we will have to go for one of the options at half the price and just visit Sanom for some food and drinks one afternoon and sunset.

    How was the boat from Langkawi? We are a bit worried about the sea being choppy.

  7. Damn; just saw on their website: "RESTAURANT AND ALL SERVICES EXLUSIVELY FOR OUR GUESTS." Might have to splash out for it after all.